By Evan DeSimone
If 2015 taught us anything, it’s that influencer-packed feature films are finally having their moment. That’s why former Turner and EA executive Doug Barry has launched Digital Riot Media to bring even more stars of YouTube, Vine, Instagram and other social media platforms to the big screen, alongside notable names from film and television.
Digital Riot will target coveted millennial and “Generation Z” audiences with original scripted features it will produce and distribute. In most cases, the films will skip the movie screen entirely in favor of a direct-to-consumer strategy that utilizes VOD and streaming platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Netflix and Sky Q.
Digital Riot Media was founded by Barry, its executive chairman, and John Baldecchi, who will serve as CEO. Barry previously held executive roles at both Turner and Electronic Arts, and has served as an advisor to mobile game maker Glu. For his part, Baldecchi has an extensive producing resume that includes the upcoming “Point Break” remake for Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. and the upcoming action movie “Crash Site”. He has also produced films for Disney, Sony, Warner Bros., DreamWorks and Lionsgate, including “The Mexican” and “Simon Birch,” and served as president of Laurence Mark Productions.
“The digital revolution has spawned a new class of stars — from YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and more — with quantifiable reach and influence,” said Baldecchi in a statement. “I’m excited to bring my talent relationships and 20 years of feature film production experience to work with social media influencers to create and distribute online films which can be distributed directly to where their fans are — smartphones, tablets and online.”
Digital Riot has yet to unveil any of its upcoming projects.